Estimating the population of an MMO game is a daunting task, and publishers are not willing to share their numbers on these matters. The reason? I guess WoW’s population is so big, that the rest are embarrassed for their numbers.
So let’s dive in, and sort the most popular MMOs by their user base, with any and all (authority) data that is available on the subject. All 6 games are included in our Best MMORPGs list, since there’s a clear relation between player base and game quality!
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 28M+
YouTube Videos: 8M+
Twitch Followers: 2.5M+
Reddit Subs: 600K+
Website Visits: 20M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 6.5M+
Twitter Followers: 1.5M+
YouTube Subscribers: 1M+
No one has managed to surpass WoW’s extreme population, ever. If you want to experience the most alive community of the past 15 years, and compete or play along with millions of other players, then there is no other choice.
The biggest source of population information on World of Warcraft, has been RealmPop.com for years. They currently report 44 million characters on US realms, and 41 million on EU realms.Be aware though, that:
Another great source for WoW population metrics, is WowProgress.com. Their numbers differ on that:
Based on that, they report 900K players on US realms, and 1 million players on EU realms.
The most accurate, though outdated data that has been published on WoW population, is from MMO-Champion.com.
They have been tracing the numbers that Blizzard posted with each Quarter Earnings report, and the last time these data were made available the number of active subscribers was at 7.1 million.
It’s worth noting that the peak of active accounts was with the release of Cataclysm, and 12 million active subscribers.
You can create a World of Warcraft account, and try the game for free up to level 20 here (official). You can also buy the game straight away here (official) or get it cheaper here (g2a) or here (kinguin).
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 6.5M+
YouTube Videos: 1M+
Twitch Followers: 250K+
Reddit Subs: 140K+
Website Visits: 10M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 2M+
Twitter Followers: 850K+
YouTube Subscribers: 100K+
It’s hard to estimate the population of ESO, or find adequate data for that matter.ESO’s director Matt Firor claimed to MMORPG.com that the game has sold 8.5 million copies as of February 2017, and also stated that this amount is evenly split in PCs and consoles. Of course, the number of total copies sold doesn’t reflect the actual active player base of the game.
Another valuable source of data for ESO, can be found on eso-database.com, where the statistics only reflect a small amount of players that use a well known mod, and there are 900K known characters (not players).
In order to create a The Elder Scrolls Online account, you have to buy the game from here (official) or you can get it cheaper here (g2a) or here (kinguin).
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 10M+
YouTube Videos: 6M+
Twitch Followers: 660K+
Reddit Subs: 80K+
Website Visits: 10M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 110K+
Twitter Followers: 60K+
YouTube Subscribers: 30K+
The only thing close to an official announcement, is an infographic published by Kakao games, showing close to 3 million characters in EU & US servers combined.
A recent tweet from Pearly Abyss though, is showing the total registered accounts to be 10 million.
Black Desert Online just reached 10 million registered users worldwide! A huge thank you to all of our fantastic Adventurers that have supported our game so far and we hope that many more will join us in the future! pic.twitter.com/AdMs7iRbhz
— Black Desert Online (@BDO_News) September 6, 2018
Of course registered doesn’t equal active, but it’s a direct response to ESO as well, which recently held an event for celebrating 10 million accounts.
In order to create a Black Desert Online account, you have to buy the game from here (official) or you can get it cheaper here (kinguin).
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 6M+
YouTube Videos: 3M+
Twitch Followers: 250K+
Reddit Subs: 170K+
Website Visits: 15M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 1M+
Twitter Followers: 350K+
YouTube Subscribers: 150K+
GW2 was one of the first “wow-killers” back in the day, and it came close, for a very small time frame.
The only data we can use to estimate the active population of the game, is a reddit user’s “study” on the matter, using a simple algorithm to estimate the amount of players to 3 million. There’s no real data to back him up, he just multiplies reddit subscribers by 20. Strangely enough, applying this formula to other games, comes close to real numbers.
What’s more interesting, is that this small post, inspired inanage.com to make a much more in-depth and data-backed study on Guild Wars 2’s population, claiming than 1.5 million active players is way closer to reality.
Guild Wars 2 has turned Free 2 Play on 29 August 2015, and you can create your account here (official). Feel free to top up your Guild Wars 2 gems for less here (g2a) or here (kinguin).
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 20M+
YouTube Videos: 1M+
Twitch Followers: 420K+
Reddit Subs: 360K+
Website Visits: 12M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 200K+
Twitter Followers: 150K+
YouTube Subscribers: 150K+
Even though OSRS has been one of the most played MMORPGs for years, most MMO players actually struggle to believe it, or even haven’t heard of it!
This is “normal” though, since the game’s extremely outdated graphics, left it out from most lists and suggestions of MMO fans. Old School Runescape has at least 100,000 players active at any time, usually peaking at 200K+.
What’s best, is that there’s no other MMO publisher that posts their numbers, but OSRS does so on their official site. Keep in mind that all the numbers concern just “Old School Runescape” (and OSRS mobile), not its latest iteration “Runescape”, or its mobile version etc. Chances are, that by combining both, the population is at least double.
Old School Runescape is free to play, and you can create your account here (official). However, there are a lot of features missing from free accounts, so better read about osrs premium subscription benefits, or learn how to get free premium just by playing.
Avg. Monthly Queries on Google: 2.7M+
YouTube Videos: 850K+
Twitch Followers: 400K+
Reddit Subs: 175K+
Website Visits: 18M+ / month
Facebook Fans: 850K+
Twitter Followers: 200K+
YouTube Subscribers: 250K+
Again, there is little data to confirm the population of FFXIV, so we will look at the most important metrics.
The FFXIVcensus.com suggests that there are 12 million characters in all the regions combined, out of which they mark 500K as active (having the “Yol” mount from 4.0).
Some other interesting numbers include the number of pre-orders for all expansions, surpassing the 650K.
You can create a Final Fantasy XIV account, and try the game for free for 14 days here (official). You can also buy the game straight away here (official) or get it cheaper here (g2a) or here (kinguin).
The Google Trend graph below, summarizes the interest for each game in the last 5 years. Of course WoW makes the graph a bit unreadable, but you can play with the tool for yourself, and let us know in the comments for any interesting findings!
Babalon, Mother of Abominations
16-hours / day in front of the screen entrepreneur, of which 6+ are spent on gaming. MMOs, CCGs, RPGs and many more, Steam-addict & achievement-w***e. Currently wasting life on BDO & Gacha Games.
I have to say as ESO veteran…I am finally leaving that MMO and focusing on BDO…eso have new contents always, story telling and beautiful game. But the game is broken specially pvp is so bad..lag and bugs its not fun anymore I finally realized I was playing ESO just because I am used to. But the game feels slow compared to BDO…eso long term specially if you like pvp could become very unhealthy…the frustration from not been able to use skills is bad! Bdo is such a fast paced combad just with W A S D you perform insane combos! The map is beautiful! You actually grind to discover new land! Not like eso very casual. Hope in level go do end game content repeat… I wish all success for BDO!
I share your feelings Harun, I’ve gone through both situations. ESO for me is just a beautiful and super chill experience now. I love its PvP too, but as you said, the issues keep getting fixed and keep coming back..
BDO is definitely more satisfying in terms of gameplay, no matter if you prefer combat or crafting, both can offer thousands of hours of enjoyment and never-ending progress! I definitely prefer it’s fast-paced, deep and responsive combat system, but it’s also not without problems in terms of PvP.
BDO is known for its heavy desync issues even in 1v1 situations, let alone the large-scale Node Wars where hundreds of players fight along with siege equipment.
That’s where WoW shines actually, it has by far the most responsive combat and networking. Anything you execute gets executed instantly, and throughout its existence PvP performance ranged from Medium to Perfect, not Atrocious to Medium as with most cases.
However, if I’ve had to “bet all my money” on which game has the brightest future ahead, then it’s definitely BDO! The developers love their game, and the pacing that it gets updated is just sick. There’s no other live-service game with so much content to go through, even in the mobile gaming market that pretty much survives off of live-service content. And they’re not afraid to try new things. WoW, ESO, GW2.. we know exactly what to expect from them, the same type of content with every expansion! Whereas in BDO we can get the next surprise or game-changing mechanic in a regular weekly patch!
Enjoy your stay in Black Desert Harun, it will definitely be worth it! ?
Well, as people say, long leveling is good ? No way. I want challenging content not boring. Better get to max level faster and start competitive pvp, raids etc. Where you actually need brains. Classic wows leveling wasnt hard, it was braindead grinding
I agree swarmer, but I don’t think it’s short or long leveling that makes the difference, but how meaningful and challenging the process is as you said!
I’m sorry, you sound like you work for the company! When does grinding for a life time payoff? The worst thing in games is when you level up and the NPC or enemies become harder being the same enemies! When does a rat take 5 -7 hits to kill at level as 200? Or 2000? That’s stupid. ALL games need npc amd emenie sleveling off to make them equally at specific points.
It’s like destiny and division and every other game the same weapon with different levels and specials over and over.
Maybe you have time to do this all day but most people don’t.
I don’t disagree with your point of view, I quite dislike this kind of “content rehashing” myself.
I wouldn’t say this is true in BDO though – unless we say that’s true for all RPG games pretty much, which is a whole other discussion.
BDO’s progression is deep, engaging, and evolving. There are no rats that get more powerful etc., on the contrary there’s a huge variety of monsters and areas, each offering their own benefits, depending on what you’re after at the time. 95% of MMOs take a linear path where only the “high-end” areas are worth it, whereas in BDO this range is way bigger, due to a lot of reasons that I won’t get too in-depth here, but you could check my BDO review if you’re up for some heavy reading! ?
TL;DR, it’s definitely not like Destiny, and similar super-grindy games. There is too much variety, and too many goals to set, that it’s really hard to feel you’re doing a pointless grind in BDO – unless of course you just tryhard to max out a certain skill, and imposing the burnout on yourself.
Last but not least, no grind you do in BDO is wasted, like again in many MMOs (looks at WoW) where progress is reset with every new expansion. Any power updates in BDO have been super careful throughout its history, always taking into account veterans and new players at the same time, managing to keep both happy.
HARD agree. long leveling time is pure trash. The only game i’ve ever enjoyed leveling in was Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that’s solely because it’s star wars, it had the mass effect/dragon age conversation and interactiveness and literally like 8 separate unique stories for the 8 different classes. (4 for jedi 4 for sith)
Everything interesting in the game comes at the end, 25000 quests of kill x, gather y (or z with a drop chance of 2 percent, and mobs only respawn once every 10 minutes) is just NOT interesting game play, whatsoever.
So many triggered fanboys are hating because they wish their games would be ahead of wow lol. Also I remember back in 2010 people would say WOW would die in couple of years…now Blizzard is still ahead by far haha. Btw good work on your article and don’t hear the haters they don’t have better things to do in life?
Haha, well it’s true Master of Disaster!
WoW is ahead of any other MMORPG as far as population goes, and that will hardly change – unless the genre is finally revived by another game in the future.
I don’t really get the “salt” of MMO fans about this simple fact. Just because it’s the most populated, it doesn’t mean it’s the best.
And this list focuses only on the most popular & populated MMOs – heck 1 million active players is far, far more than other game genres get (and well, far less than FPS games for example). So rest assured all games in this list still have a long way to go, and they’ll hardly go anywhere.
Earth Year: 2021. Humans are still killing the same pigs who drop weapons from their arses, over and over and over again, since 2005. o7
well… we do get re-skinned pig arses too!
Looking forward to Ashes of Creation, they are using Unreal Engine 4. release date should be 2021 or 2022. the devs are all mmorpg gamers themselves, so that says a lot.
same here mate, can’t wait for Ashes of Creation! ?
LOL 2021 or 2022? More like 2025.
If you mean a full release, then yea, 2025 might even be optimistic.
But I do hope Alpha One will rollout before 2021 is over!
Wow had its time now warframe is taking things by storm dont get me wrong wow is good but it will be gone in the next few years when do and warframe take over pc and ps4 and Xbox.
Well Warframe is a strong game, steadily rising in population for many years.
The devs do an excellent job of providing maybe the best F2P game on the market right now, but the facts heavily disagree with your statement.
For starters, WoW is going nowhere. In fact, with 20+ years of being a full-time gamer, if I had to bet all my money on which game is going to be alive in 20 years from now, that’s World of Warcraft. Both the amount of content, and the level of attachment players have with the game, as well as Blizzard’s obvious plans to keep supporting it full-time, are a few of the proofs of its longevity.
For the second part of your argument, Warframe is not even close to WoW’s population – even though Shooter games have a much, much, much bigger population than MMORPGs.
Off topic. That game is not an MMORPG.
Well it is an MMO, and it is an RPG. It’s not an MMORPG in a traditional sense for sure, but I do think it has some great qualities that should inspire MMO developers, particularly the “how to make a balanced F2P game” part xD
Good article overall, I appreciate how you don’t claim to have 100% accurate numbers unlike some other articles out there.
One thing that did catch my attention though, is when you said the OSRS numbers don’t take RS3 and mobile players into consideration. While it’s true RS3 numbers aren’t included, I’m fairly certain mobile players are since it’s on the same servers as PC OSRS. With that being said, Old School players make up a HUGE majority of the overall RuneScape player base (for example, at the time of writing this there’s around 152K total playing RuneScape, and 119K of those are playing Old School). So I don’t think it’s fair to say that by combining both, the population is at least double.
Other than that, this was well written and well researched, keep it up.
Thanks for introducing a valid argument here!
At the time of writing, OSRS mobile wasn’t still out, so I’m referring to the Runescape mobile game, which is indeed not included.
I have added a correction to specify that the player counter on the OSRS site includes the mobile version, so thanks again for noticing!
And of course thanks for your kind words ?
Wow August 2018 – “wow active players leaked” – 3.4M
Also: “WoW Classic drives a huge jump in subscribers. World of Warcraft subscription revenue grew an estimated 223% in August compared to July. Despite this, total revenue was still lower than the Battle for Azeroth expansion August 2018” <3.4M
And "The new World of Warcraft update Visions of N’Zoth successfully turned around declining user numbers. Subscriber numbers grew 17% from December to January (not including China). However, they were still down substantially (64%) from August 2019, the month World of Warcraft Classic was released."
So for maximum 3.4M x 64% is 2.1M. But that is maximum, so numbers would be 1-2M.
There are 1000 realms, and if you count 1-2000 subscribers per one with "megaserver" system, it sounds believable, unlike 8000 per realm with "megaservers" – that would be too much, since worlds ingame feels really empty these days.
Johnnyc, in all honesty, I’m quite confused by your comment.
It would be great if you could provide some link sources for these statements!
WoW has huge ups and downs with the way they are treating progression, but it’s still the most populated MMORPG by far. Shadowlands will definitely bring a huge peak again, and we all hope that many of the game’s core progression issues will get on a better track.
Great Article Babalon,
Thanks so much for your time.
WOW – no idea how ppl are not tired. It has great lore but it is not the great game it used to be.
Black Desert is indeed packed with afk fishers, I am not even sure how it is a mmorpg when players never team up together.
FF14- is quite populated from what I see and with such active community. Like someone mentioned too much contend which spreads the population too wide.
GW2 has healthy population for sure, but just like in WOW ppl are there more for the nostalgia. Unfortunately GW2 could not deliver even 50% of what GW was.
I wonder how the top 20 would look like.
Thanks for your input Deutschin!
WoW – Well I feel tired with it too. There’s an endless amount of content, but so many things feel “dead” in the game. Every expansion changes so many core systems.. Makes everything you fought hard for, be an irrelevant “legacy” item… They are trying to keep old players happy and bring new ones, while they fail at both..
BDO – Not so true. It’s easy to spot AFK fishers when starting out, because the devs have purposefully “buffed” these starting areas as fishing hotspots. Therefore the game seems extremely populated to new people joining in, creating a “welcoming” atmosphere. Not a bad tactic in my opinion. But the fishing population in BDO is quite small compared to the rest of the players. It’s definitely the most active MMO I’ve experienced, and one that WON’T let your hard work go down the drain, now matter how many patches come out (and a heavy one comes out every week!
FFXIV – Yes very true. They are handling the game far better than WoW in my opinion. I’m a starter in FFXIV, still struggling to finish the MSQ. You need like 200 hours to do that (properly) and start playing in the endgame. Did I do it? No. Is it a great challenge I want to do later on? Definitely! That’s the answer I think WoW seeks too. Don’t just dumb down everything so “new players don’t have to work too hard”. Well, they should!!! 6 months of playtime to get to endgame? Yes why not! It’s the journey that matters 😀 (and if someone really doesn’t want to, both games sell max level boosts either way).
GW2 – Agreed, but my main concern with GW2 is that it hasn’t evolved as a game. It’s still the amazing MMO that it was when it came out (the REAL WoW killer back then!), but they should have added many more systems in the game, as well as provide a major graphics overhaul. It feels more and more dated, and it’s sad. GW2 is really an amazing game, that ESO “rightfully” got so much inspiration from.
I wish I could “peek” into the Top 20 as well, but that’s a very hard task to undertake, especially when all these population numbers are so vague, since virtually no one is sharing their numbers..
Your Numb are way off I play FF14 and it gets more and more WOW players every day, people are leaving wow and FF14 has way more than 1m players active they keep their stats in the open unlike wow.
Thanks for your rant James. Where do they keep the numbers “out in the open”? Because I wans’t able to find more accurate numbers than the ones shared in the article.
Have you updated this article in 2019?
Yes Xristakios, the article has been updated in 2020, as you can easily see on the header.
You are hilarious.. I was curious myself of how many people play wow and came across your article.
Wow is an amazing game .. has been for 10 years that I have played. Of course some things I like and some I don’t but overall I still thinks it is amazing.
But back to you are hilarious.. I was reading the posts and reading what people reply, most people are so ignorant, and your replies to theirs are pretty fun. I’m thinking to myself I would never make an article like you and many others have because everyone always thinks they know better. It must drive you nuts.
There are facts and educated guesses, to make reasonable assumptions to figures and then you have the people that speculate and bullshit (for a lack of a better word) … anyways good job on the article.
Hahahaha thanks for your comment Chris!
Well it drives me nuts indeed. ?
The worst part is I can’t even remember how many hours I was researching for all these sources and official announcements, just to share an “accurate” estimate of each MMO’s population. And half of the people here want to crucify me for it, because it’s not the “super accurate real number” of the population, that only the game publishers themselves know.
I have kindly asked many contestants to share any additional sources that prove mine “wrong”, but sadly no one did yet. ?
Thanks again Chris, it’s people like you that give us the motivation to keep going! ?
Actually, according to https://mmo-population.com/ WoW and FFXIV are not that far behind in active subs.
I do respect the effort that has been put in the MMO Population site, but it’s hardly an indication of actual numbers, as is everything on the internet.
No MMO publisher is going to disclose their true numbers – and I really don’t know what they are afraid of. Only OSRS publicly shows its active players in real-time, on their site.
Really nice article. I wound up here after reading your review on BDO (also very well written). I applaud your responding to each commenter and I enjoyed more than a few chuckles at your often subdued and tactful replies to people who deserved worse. Even the blatant trolls didn’t get a very harsh rebuttal. Of course that’s only my humble opinion, no more or less valid than the people who felt you were unkind. grin.I have a question or two if you get a chance: In one comment you hit at “something big coming” from a company like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. Any more thoughts on that? I’d love to hear more.I found your BDO review because I’m in the market for a new MMORPG myself. I play on a PS4 myself. I know that limits my options. I have a good PC, but i work at a keyboard and mouse all day and prefer something a little different in the evening. I could move back to PC but it would take something pretty special to get me to do that. As a gamer I loved Runescape 2. Lost interest when they released 3 and OSRS went a little too far back for me. Not quite RS classic, but not RS2 heyday either. I loved the combination of pve, pvp, questing, large world, diverse economy, and huge skillset. To be honest I loved skill grinding more than anything else. It seems to be something most mmorpgs just don’t believe is worth their time. Ive never found another mmorpg that has the variety of non-combat features. I feel like ive been in mmorpg limbo ever since and never really found another place to call home. Any thoughts?
Hey Niap! I’m honored from your comment – to say the least! It makes me feel better than the 200,000+ views this article has got so far! ?
I wouldn’t say PS4 limits your options so much, you can choose from ESO, BDO & FFXIV, or some less populated – but still fun games – like TERA or Neverwinter. Of course, it’s never the same with the options you get as a PC player, but consoles are meant to be more laid back either way. I do think ESO has the best controller support out of all of them, and it’s a magnificent story-based MMO to enjoy at your couch! ? You could take a look at ESO’s races & classes to figure if it’s your cup of tea!
I can’t say much about RuneScape as I’ve never invested serious time in any of its versions. We do have a wealth of OSRS guides in Altar of Gaming so I’ve come to meet a lot of its mechanics – and I love them! – but the graphics are.. really bad for my taste. ? However, having the same “skill grinding itch” with you, I can definitely say that you will love Albion Online! It’s a pure sandbox MMO, voxel graphics but extremely polished, with a very strong community that forms an extremely challenging PvE / PvP environment. You can check my (partly outdated) albion guide to get a taste of what I’m trying to explain!
About the “big game announcement” you mention, I think you are referring to a comment I’ve made in the past about Amazon Game Studios developing a new Lord of The Rings MMO! There’s been much hype about it, but I’m not really sure how late will that arrive, especially now that New World has been announced as the first MMORPG game developed by Amazon.
P.S. I’m terribly sorry for replying so late, I literally had to go through hundreds of spam comments to stumble upon yours ?
Great Article man, Thank you.
I thought Black Desert was second. It is simply a stunning MMORPG. I hated it in the beginning but after my second try i fell in love with it. How is WOW keeping this player base?
Thanks for the kind words Sony!
I actually “hated” BDO at first too, it wasn’t until the 5th time I decided to give it a “chance” that I got addicted to it!
It’s still a bit far from ESO regarding the playerbase, but taking in consideration how many people play MMOs in 2019, it’s more than enough for a fully alive experience!
Well, WoW manages to keep their numbers so high for various reasons. They never stopped marketing their game, or tending to their playerbase, so it’s normal it’s still the #1 MMORPG!
BDO is a great game but i wouldn`t put it as second, just because i know how good OSRS is, dude its graphics are awfull but the game is packed with people everyday everytime everywhere, i know why jagex is proud of posting their playerbase, its because i trully believe they know they got the biggest, even over WoW, but i will respect WoW this time, and only for Vanilla release because i´m now playing it, and it feels just like an everyday playing OSRS.
I respect, and for the most part agree with your take.
But the list is not about which game is the best, but which one has the highest population. WoW is definitely #1 with a big difference, it’s apparent in the graph as well, and Google knows best.
I definitely respect Jagex for being out-front with their numbers, and I believe that everyone should follow their example. Steam is doing it, so it’s silly for MMOs to “try to hide” in this aspect.
BDO is third, not second (you skipped ESO), but nevertheless I personally believe it might be second after all. They have too many separate regions, and most of them run a different version of the game. On top of Black Desert Mobile, which will soon come to the West as well, their numbers should be higher than what I was able to estimate out of the sources posted.
I know this is an old article but… Y’all giving him crap about the +- thing are ridiculous. So unnecessary lol. I think we all understood what he meant. We get it you guys are super smart…………………….. *cough* *cough* *sarcasm*
hahaha, thanks for understanding Reed!
OSRS blows all of these out of the water, and when you used the google trends you should of used the term OSRS instead of Runescape. Check how close it is between it and world of Warcraft yourself, no wonder WoW streamers are moving to OSRS now lmao
Google Trends works a bit different. All of the games, are “explicitly chosen as games”, so Google combines all the trend data they have for the game, no matter how you typed it (as long as you choose “Old School Runescape – Online Game” from the list). I chose just “Runescape”, since this is the “bigger” franchise, compared to just looking at OSRS.
Thoughts on Pantheon release?
Well, excited, but still too early to share any impressions!
It’s definitely not going to be one of the most popular mmorpgs, but I hope it will manage to build a loyal playerbase in the long term.
What would you say the best MMO for competitve endgame PvP is?
Just leaving WoW and my buddys trying to drag me into Archeage, looks fun but as dead as could be lol.
Also, satisfying combat animations are a must 😛
Hmm, I would suggest staying away from Archeage, unless you prefer to fight with your wallet 😀
From your short description, I’d say your best bet is Black Desert Online, but I heavily suggest to read through our review first, so that you know what you’re getting into!
As a second choice, and if you want something more casual and closer to WoW, then I’d say Elder Scrolls Online is the best wow refugee game up to date!
How’s it possible this article is so far off?
Wow has 1.8 million
ESO has 10 million
Final Fantasy has 14 million
See I got my numbers from their public statements and financial reports where’d you get yours?
Nice meme hahaha.
wow 2 mil, eso 10 mil, ff 14 mil hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
yes, i got the numbers from the countless links inside the article. I guess you didn’t bother reading or checking it at all.
Hey guys, did you know? FFXIV has 7 times the population of WoW! Trust me I read it on a public statement ???
Well, you should maybe consider that WoW had it’s best times and they’re over. With everything they’re fucking up lately and so many people jumping over to FFXIV – it could(!) become the truth at some point. While Volomon is clearly overexagerating and talks about Account vs Player Numbers – you’re off too. Making such a joke out of him, firstly doesn’t speak much for the seriousity of your work and secondly doesn’t seem like you take the readers serious. As I said, he was overexagerating but your reaction was very off aswell.
“Making such a joke out of him”? Volomon is clearly trolling, so I don’t know since when trolling back is an offense.
I believe the fact that I’ve taken the time to answer 30 comments one by one, can speak more about how much we care about our readers.
Thanks for adding your comment nevertheless Chibzie, I appreciate your honesty and manners. I do believe as well that WoW will lose the “throne” sooner than later, but I’m putting my bets on ESO to de-throne it, and not FFXIV.
To be honest, I find it even more probable that a new MMO will come out and disrupt the market, reviving the genre and hitting never-seen-before population numbers in MMORPGs. My last guess is that it’s going to be backed by either Amazon, Google or Microsoft.
Are you on drugs? The EU servers of FF14 barely has 100k players, yet you somehow think that Japan and NA contribute 13.9million players… that means 2% of everyone in NA & Japan are playing this game, including 6 month year old children and 90 year old pensioners…
WOW is dead. Literally, you may find 100 players on an entire fucking server.
Yes Brian, Yes..
Why do you like wow so much? Tell me what the appeal is because ive tried to get into that game 7 times already…i still have it downloaded but i cant muster the motivation to play it…so honest question, whats the appeal? What did i overlook?
I’m not sure which statement gave you the idea that I like WoW “so much”! I’m not leveraging my personal preferences for the most part in this discussion, since the main theme of this list is the player population of the most active MMOs.
I did defend WoW a lot, mostly because most arguments don’t consider simple facts, like how actually popular and active WoW is, which honestly has very little to do with how good the game is.
On a personal level, I’d choose BDO over any other MMO on this list – or outside of it. I believe its gameplay depth is far more worthy of the “MMORPG” title, but I don’t want to get out of track here, maybe take a look at my 10,000 word BDO review instead! ?
About WoW, I did start playing when it came out, in the Xmas of 2004! Of course back then, it was a totally different experience from any way you look at it. It’s natural that this nostalgia will carry over the rest of my life. I am heavily disappointed with the game from a gamer’s (and especially MMO addict’s) perspective though. After Battle of Azeroth, and then Shadowlands, there’s no more doubt that Blizzard is not willing to take their game seriously, and honor its value. They are simply going to create a new set of systems with each expansion, then delete it when the next expansion comes around.
WoW was never too hardcore, it was always a theme park MMO. But sadly, I would say it’s turned into a sticker book collection MMO.
It actually took me 7 times of trying BDO in order, to finally get it, and fall in love with it! But I would feel very safe to say, that if you don’t like WoW from the 2nd time max, then you won’t like it ever. Most of the game has to offer is story & lore, and sadly that’s also hard to find in the actual game itself, since its production value (story delivered through quests, voice-overs, cinematics etc.) is abysmal. Sure, there’s a ton of fancy cinematics with the latest expansions, but 90%+ of the game’s content, is delivered through silent text, and 90% of the times it’s not even relevant with any story or lore.
Oh well, I’m getting out of track here xD It’s a good thing there’s a free trial for it though, since most people can easily tell within an hour if it’s a game for them, or not!
My two cents – check out BDO and / or Albion Online!
I’d have to agree with WoW being the top choice for an MMO population count, however, I don’t believe this article goes in depth enough into the population count to be of much use to new players looking for people to play with, for example, I can’t speak for most games on this list but having played Guildwars casually over the course of 6 months or so (life eventually got in the way so I had to stop after a while) I can say that while it has a fairly active user base (there was never a time I was online where it was dead) it seemed to be mostly made up of casual players, and while the community was never toxic (like on say LoL) nobody seemed really dedicated to the game and most of the contacts I’d made on it left after a few weeks or so and never went on again, so it’s not a great game if you’re a hardcore gamer looking to make life-long friends on it, it’s a good game if you have a few hours over the weekend to spend on it but not something most people would get sucked into for years at a time (plus, and this is just personal opinion here, the content was fairly repetitive and there wasn’t much outside of the main story to keep a casual player interested for very long)
I don’t think digging so deep in Guild Wars is inside this article’s scope.
However, if I may give my two cents, Guild Wars 2 has one of the most loyal player bases. Random people that you add as a random person are not an indication of the players’ loyalty.
If you dont have a serious data source please dont do this type of article.
If you don’t have a serious data source please don’t tell me that I don’t.
I challenge you to find sources that are more authority / official than the ones I’ve linked.
Share ur sources pls.
There’s like 15 external links to sources throughout the article.
Is this confirmed? https://venturebeat.com/2018/06/21/neverwinter-nears-18-million-players/
Well, it is possible that they’ve reached this total amount throughout the years – and I suspect 18 million is not even all accounts since launch – but all characters! Neverwinter is definitely a succesfull MMO, but I think we would all know if it had even 1 million active accounts!
Oldschool RuneScape is the most active, directly on website it shows current player count on all servers and it outnumbers every mmo on this lists daily active numbers. OSRS should be at the top, but the jagged graphics that draw old schoolers in just seems to turn off a lot of mmo players who appreciate the coding in games.
As far as content, osrs has it all, all NPC perform specific functions, all buildings are acessible, the only thing is the trash graphics. Which goes to show many players are more involved with how the game functions as opposed to how pretty it looks like Bdo Or ESO.
As it’s been mentioned around 5 times within these comments, simply because OSRS posts their active player numbers (such a cool feature), it doesn’t mean that its population is higher than the currently listed MMOs.
I do agree that MMO developers should pay special attention to OSRS, and try to comprehend which elements make the game so popular.
Runescape is bigger then all these games besides world of warcraft. Please update the list it is wrong
And how is 120k players online more than the rest of the games in this list?
Do you have a source other than just saying it?
I would like to see the list of mmo’s by concurrent players, OSRS has recently hit 140k players on at once and I would like to see how that compares with the other games on this list.
This is a number we would all love to have! Props to Runescape for posting these numbers, but unfortunately they are almost the only ones! Runescape will definitely get a place on this list, when it rises up to 10 MMOs!
There are some attempts at stats at https://mmo-population.com/ as well
Seems they line up reasonably well with these in terms of rank.
Thanks for sharing your work Dave!
MMO-Population is indeed an honest effort to bring interactive & real-time data into such a subject.
There’s pros – the ability to aggregate real-time data from various sources.
And cons – being unable to take into consideration the official press releases, statements, interviews & data-sharing from the developers / publishers themselves.
So I hope that we provide an additional (and obviously way more specific / narrow) insight on the current MMO population & activity.
Thanks again for sharing your work, and keep providing gamers with amazing tools 🙂
I have heard that Wizard101 has 40 million accounts made. Not sure the validity of this, or how many are active. With this many accounts, I would assume the population is very large. I recommend you look into this game if youwant to expand the list later on.
Thanks for your feedback John! To be honest I’ve encountered Wizard101 in too many discussions & forums over the years. It’s a very interesting case to research on, and even though 40 million sounds like a sick number, I’m pretty positive there’s a big number of active players in there indeed!
I dont plan on leaving a message about my opinion on games, I am here to ask a question. Does BDO offer an experience worth committing the next year of my life playing?
Yes my friend, it offers much more than that 🙂 It’s by far the deepest, most advanced, varied & addicting MMO that has released in the Western market.
People who think bdo is p2w are foolish kids who never learned the lesson of “dont spend it all in one place.” I’ve never bought Pearl’s and I never will. I actively play 2 hours a day and have better gear/more silver than most people who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on the game and play for 5+ hours a day actively. The NA community specifically never understood that pearl abyss made NA be p2c. If you spent thousands of dollars to try to “buy rng” and get angry when that pen doesn’t happen, good riddance.
While I’ve spent my fair share of pearls, I share your passion about bdo NOT being p2w.
Real money can help you progress faster indeed, but the game itself proves that your brain can help you 10 times more than your wallet. Now if they want to “milk whales”, so be it. They are only providing more funds for the game’s development, and I’m all about that 😀
What about Runescape?
I’m actually trying to find adequate data in order to make the list bigger (the smaller the population, the harder to get the data), and Runescape is of course going to be in there 😉
I’m very much looking forward to Ashes of Creation. It will be subscription based ($15 a month) and have absolutely no P2W (the devs literally created the game because they hated how P2W was ruining MMOs). It’ll feature Castle Sieges, Large scale PvP, Housing, Player directed city development, Caravan trading, and a lot more.
It’s coming in 2019 but the alpha is starting September 2018. They give away alpha/beta keys weekly if you sign up here:
It’s already the most anticipated upcoming MMORPG. It’s gonna be fantastic.
Well, I can’t hide the fact that I’m waiting for AOC as well!!! I don’t think P2W is an issue though, especially for the MMOs mentioned in the article. It’s only normal for a game to sell stuff – it’s how the devs make their living! But heavy (even light) P2W games, will never make it as good games. Take Blade & Soul for example, it’s dead. There are no players that will invest for the long haul, the game is flat, and the store will definitely scare people away.
However, I gotta mention that after checking Lazy Peon’s playthrough of AOC, I was heavily disappointed, as it’s in a VERY alpha stage with no signs that it will ever be a complete game.
Babalon, Mother of Abominations I wish I could believe what developers say, but time and time again they fall short of telling the truth. Until there’s some sort of consumer protection against fraud AOC won’t see a dime of my money.
AOC is kick starter that is milking players for cash for the opportunity to re-hash an ancient genre that has been done to death.
While AOC’s CEO & Creative Director, who has never made a video game, makes lofty promises to deliver a fresh experience with never before seen features I’m left wondering how he will do this with an ancient genre that has been done to death already by extremely well funded (ESO 200 million), vastly more experienced management and personnel (Matt Frior of Mythic/Bethesda) AND an already established franchise to work with (ESO)
Let’s not forget John Moore – President / Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer fresh out of college with 0 years experience.
On the bright side they do have Jeffrey Bard as LEAD Game designer who does have 1 year 9 months experience on Everquest as a game designer……..
Besides the fact that Steven Sharif – CEO / Creative Director has zero experience making games he asserted that PC-Gamers report on AOC’s referral program was totally false.
After PC-Gamer checked again with Kickstarter it was discovered that AOC never removed kick starter pledges from the referral program.
Despite the Ashes of Creation Kickstarter being in breach of Kickstarter’s policies, Kickstarter will not be taking any action against the campaign.
What’s really laughable is Steven Sharif says “”The entirety of the budget comes from my personal funding,” Sharif says. “So if there’s ever a moment in the future where it looks like there’s a small percentage that this project might not be done, those reserves are available to refund the people who pledged towards it.”
His infallible AOC idea was so good, he decided to not use his own money to fund all of it, but being a super nice guy he’ll refund the gamer’s who have invested if things go to shit, even though there is no legal obligation for him to do so……. Right….. LOL
I wish everyone invested in this success, hell I want to play this revolutionary MMO, but imho Steven Sharif should have kept his Multi level Marketing skill set for XanGo.
XanGo is the Multi level Marketing company that Steven Sharif didn’t make the majority of his money from.
In 2006 the FDA issued a warning that “XanGo’s distributors had illegally used marketing materials to promote mangosteen juice claiming more than 20 human health benefits, None of these claims, however, has scientific proof established by peer-reviewed research and human clinical trials, as discussed below.”
The peer-reviews were conducted by the American Cancer Society, but what do they know, hell, what does the FDA know? LOL
I wish people would exercise due diligence to help discourage crooks like these who take away from our games and take funding away from genuine Indie dev’s trying to make dope games.
Wow, you really went into some depth there brother..
I can’t research or verify any of the info you are sharing, but I will let your comment run since it really seems that you know a lot about the subject.
My only two cents, is that I’m always wary of these “Early Access MMOs”, that ask for hundreds of dollars for a beta access, while their game looks like s**t. I’m sorry but shit graphics, cant be paid for with hundreds!
Black desert, and archeage are dead space, WOW is full of gold farmers and hacked/ stolen accounts. Final Fantasy, ESO, and GW2 actually have players and tbh ESO has alot of RP style content that many don’t appeal to, i myself find the storys and quests to be amazing, i also like GW2 style of solo Storyline content, I don’t play FF its just not in my style, its a little over the top with its content for me personally, i don’t like the 50 foot swords and other retarded asian looking shit.
Haha, yea I see where you’re coming from, and gotta agree that ESO places a heavy focus on “single-player” content, that won’t appeal to everybody.
I have to heavily disagree with you on Black Desert though. Being a more-than-active MMO player for the last decade, BDO today, is the sole MMO I can login too and feel part of a huge, dedicated community.
BDO’s population is vast, and it’s the 1st – actually popular – MMO that introduces sandbox elements effectively, and that is not scared to dive deep into its mechanics and gameplay, providing a very rich experience to the users. You literally have to invest 6 months of your life to master a particular profession (and there’s 10 inside), and I think it’s the reason people stay so long in there. In contrast with WoW, ESO or GW2 that most people will play for a few months, then get on to something different.
Funny how people make these outrageous claims to how they source the information about the population of mmo’s and almost all of them are total bullshit, for example the Reddit morons try to base the populations on Reddit accounts when over half of the games on the market don’t even use reddit garbage Reddit=never ending rabbit hole of autism. The only way you will get any real numbers is if the companies get together and build a data source for an MMO website to list them, other than that your all pissing in the wind with your mouths open.
I don’t disagree with your standpoint, but “companies getting together to build a data source for an MMO website” is less probable than humanity moving to space in the next 10 years. By providing a wealth of engagement metrics (not just reddit subs, but 10 more related numbers), I think that we can give a clear picture on both the volume of engagement in an MMO, as well as which platform is most popular with the players.
Also, people are actually looking for the most popular mmorpg on 2018, and the answer stands correct, even if by a few hundred thousands less or more. Does it make a real difference if the population is 800K or 1.2M? I don’t think so, in both cases we have a more than healthy population, that clearly shows there is value to the game.
Yup, I just started WoW again. Pretty fun game. I always imagined a world where Rift and DDO would be in a type 5 like this…sigh…
Haha, I know the feeling! Well, I’m personally disappointed from Battle of Azeroth, I think Blizzard has way under-performed, in an age where MMOs start to get competitive again.
I think the judge BfA about a month in as being a failure would be like judging a movie as such a few minute after the intro credits finished rolling. I know you didn’t say it’s a failure, but let’s give it a shot. Blizz is great about learning from their mistakes. I bet by 8.1 we will have a vastly improved game! PS: Great article. I dig the way you put Plus/Minus in there (even if it’s not used as it is in proper “mathy” terms) and I love the info. Thanks!
Don’t get me wrong. The fact that disappoints me, is that Blizzard doesn’t seem to “care” about what their competitors do, and add to their games. I’m not saying obviously to “change” the core-game, rather enhance it.
As a quick example, ESO has done a tremendous work with voice-overs and the overall storyline. I’m really speechless WoW hasnt’ done the same – and better – since its lore is extremely rich – and the players are mostly dying for it.
As another example, BDO has brought back meaningful items into RPGs. There are no “trash” items or worthless loot. Every item has its place in the world, and its place in the production circle.
Even FFXIV, tries to provide a more streamlined and varied gathering / crafting experience, that breaks some norms and provides something unique.
Now I don’t want to say that WoW doesn’t have another dozen features that the other games lack, I’m just trying to point out how I think they’ve left the game “unattended” in core features / mechanics that shape the community and the game.
So how are you liking it now that 8.1 is out? Still have high hopes?
I dunno man, simply logging into this game gets me tilted.
Personally, I don’t have any hopes yet. Battle for Azeroth feels worse than a “Free Seasonal DLC”.
I just hope they will realize that “WoW is not forever”, and really get deeper into following the MMO scene innovations which I mentioned above.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s not much salt. I’ve been playing WoW on and off since vanilla. I just can’t claim that “WoW is the best game on earth” anymore, and I don’t think I will ever do again.
While the numbers might be right on WoW you have to realize about 90% of those numbers are bots and gold farmers that game is pretty much dead any true mmo player knows that so this is very misleading. Same for ESO there is absolutely no way they have more active players then FFXIV. The content is crap on ESO they have a very poor end game also they never could never retain that many people. I play almost all these MMO still so I can say this pretty confidently. If anyone is looking for an active population your best bet would be FFXIV or Guildwars the rest I would not waste my time on unless you want no end game content worth it with ESO or bot and gold tell hell with WoW.
Thanks for the input talon, I gotta say I think you’re over-exaggerating.
I am an active player on all 5 MMOs mentioned in the article (and many more).
Using bots, gold farming, or in any other way “manipulating” the way a game was originally meant to be played, is nothing new. There is no single MMO that is “healthy” on that aspect.
The article doesn’t aim to compare the games, as in “more people = better game”, so there is no reason to take it personally with FFXIV!
I wouldn’t say WoW is dead, hell, I don’t think that day will ever come! Especially with Battle of Azeroth coming out now, it will be a while before we can criticize on WoW’s population again, it will be packed for a long time!
Unfortunately I agree with you about ESO’s end-game, it’s lacking. There is so much tons of content in this game, yet there are features which are not properly utilized, resulting in an end-game that feels the same with leveling your first character.
However, I disagree on the population aspect. Personally, the most “active population” MMO experiences I had in 2016-2018 are ESO, and Black Desert Online. I’m talking about going for that boss, and there’s a few hundred players around. Doing side quests, and there’s 20 people running around the same area. Selling stuff in the Auction House, that people actually buy, fast!
FFXIV and Guild Wars 2 might not be THAT populated, but they have a great community, that is passionate about the game, and dedicated.
To be honest, I don’t think someone can “go wrong” with any of the 5 choices, since there are millions of other players in each, and the games have gone a long way with content. It’s mostly a matter of personal preference!
“an end-game that feels the same with leveling your first character” Erm, maybe it’s just me, but how is that a bad thing? It sounds great. That feeling is usually what drives me to pick up a new game, if I had it at the end-game I would just keep going.
Well, yes and no!
On one hand, there is a big benefit with ESO’s structure – you can enjoy the story at your own leisure, and you don’t really have to choose one area over another, it’s up to you!
But on the other hand, this extends too much in my opinion, resulting in a “non-continuous” end-game, and the effect is compounded by the huge amount of DLC-locked activities. The single-player experience is great, but the MMO aspect relies heavily on your personal group or guild.
I’ve been playing WoW for over 10 years. Your “comment” is not accurate. Please provide the evidence for which shows that “90% of those numbers are bots and gold farmers.” This is an opinion, and strictly so. Let alone, it’s based on ignorance; not evidence.
I have to totally agree with you Tyrantia.
The only thing I can say for sure, is that there is a lot of grief for us MMO players, some bad experiences are shaping our perception for these games.
Most people are always looking for something “new”, and get tired of it really quickly.
The worst part, is that developers get more affected than needed from this fact, and deliver less thought-out and tested mechanics that might seem cool at first, but end up hurting their games more in the long run.
I’m on the same train with you, been playing WoW for more than 10 years, and even though there were times the farmers / sellers were taking over global, I never even felt that I’m playing with bots, the community was always more than alive.
In order to offer my two cents, I believe Black Desert Online is following the best path right now, experimenting with unique mechanics and gameplay no one has even dared in an MMORPG, providing an extremely long-term investment, just like WoW managed to do all these years ago, and still does for a great number of players.
“talon” – if you’re trolling, well done. If not, you’re just horrifically inaccurate. There are a lot of bots in WoW, but to state that it is anything less than the most-popular and most-played MMO at the moment is simply wrong. Whether or not you hate it is subjective, whether or not it’s the most-played and most-popular (by definition of having the most players per month) is not.
And also BDO, its dead
Thanks for your in-depth & fact-based comment, but I gotta disagree.
The intended use of +- is as a margin of error. ie, game x has 1milliion active players +-100k would mean the game has between 900k and 1.1m users.
Just FYI: ± does not mean ‘roughly’. That’s ≈ (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mathematical_symbols).
Thanks for the input Duncan, but that was intended. It means plus or minus 1 million, which well, is the same with roughly. To be honest with you, using ~ after the – in the heading, just looked like s**t so I went with ± ^^
Welp, there goes the thread.
But plus or minus 1 million isn’t the same thing as roughly, mathematically or grammatically. If you are trying to equate “more or less” to a symbol you would use , but again you need to answer, more or less than what? There’s no way around it… you need to use ~ in the future to establish approximations symbolically. Thanks for the article though, good read. 🙂
I appreciate the feedback 🙂
LOL wow this is way off i see you are a wow player
I actually play actively all of these games (apart from OSRS), and I play WoW the least.
We can see FF14 POP any time, they keep track, and it is public. you are way way off on your numbers.
Do you care to share a link then? The most “official” population data that exists for FFXIV is through Census, which is already linked in the article.